Therapy Contract

Martin W. Scrippp Ph. D. Clinical Psychologist

Clients Need to Know

I spend the first session(s) gathering all of the necessary background information and data needed to understand a person’s problems in living. Then we continue with our focus on specific presenting concerns and relate the personal history information to the problems the client is experiencing. Therapy is an exploratory process with the client. It is essential to continue working on this in a regular, consistent, usually weekly manner until we see that some understanding and progress is made. Some people come to therapy hoping for a quick fix. While this is understandable, it rarely happens.

Steady progress is made with the examination of the person’s:

1. presenting problems
2. understanding about oneself, and;
3. personal comfort with his/her life situation

It is my experience that all three of these components in the treatment process need to be addressed.

A feeling of improvement in the client’s symptoms and functioning is one part of the process, followed by understanding, which benefits future coping. Permanent learning takes place when life stresses and old issues can be dealt with in a new, more effective way so that relapse to old patterns does not occur. Therapy is a learning process focusing on specific problems, and the client is encouraged to bring up any and all issues relating to our work in treatment. During therapy I may also recommend additional home assignments or readings in conjunction with our work. Recommended readings are an attempt to be very prescriptive for you as an individual, but I also realize that not every recommendation will fit precisely. Everyone is different!

Guidelines for Our Working Relationship

1. Therapy sessions will adhere to the “50-minute hour.” Promptness on my part will be followed, resulting in consistent work. If any overrun occurs, it is my responsibility to inform a waiting client.

2. The fee is an arrangement and commitment between the client and me. Any issues regarding insurance payment, managed-care (e.g. pre-certification, session approval, etc.) will be discussed thoroughly.

3. It is important that scheduled sessions be honored. If you are unable to keep your appointment, please call at least 24 hours in advance or you will be charged for that session. I reserve that time, and this is my commitment to you.

4. Phone calls between appointments for necessary communication about therapy are acceptable and will be responded to in a timely manner. If urgent issues arise, an additional appointment can be arranged.